Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival 2016 – Top Picks


Friday Afternoon I had the pleasure of attending the Industry Only Sneak Peek for the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival hosted by Sobey’s/Safeway Liquor and Liquor Connect.  The event every year is in my opinion, the best Wine and Food Festival offered at Stampede Park, and this year was no exception.

Compared to some of the other festivals, the quality of food and wine sampling here goes above and beyond.  Tickets get you entry into the event, and then sample tickets can be purchased separately.  Want to try a glass of Taylor Fladgate’s 1863 Single Harvest Port?  This once is a lifetime chance will set you back a mere $70 worth of tasting tickets- compared to a $4000.00 bottle.  The majority of the wines and food samples offered will set you back 3-10 tasting tickets, so not to fear if you don’t feel like purchasing hundreds!

We had the pleasure of beating the crowds as we worked our way through the majority of the French Wine tastings offered.  Due to my current enrollment in WSET 3 I took my time sampling and writing tasting notes in prep for my exam.  The central tables worked perfectly for this purpose, and it was great that I was able to bring my husband as a guest to share in the deliciousness.

A few highlights and ideal pairings we found if you are looking for an etherial tasting experience that makes you want to stop and contemplate life and the real art of fine wine and food:

#1 Hengst Alsace Grand Cru Pinot Gris Paired with Iron Goat Catering’s Duck Wings with Mango Glaze and Walnuts – Booth #329 and #224

Tasting Note:  Stunning complex nose of baked apples, poached pears, honey, smoke and tonnes of mineral.  The off dry and high acid palate of raisins, ginger, apples, floral and steely minerality acted in perfect harmony in balancing the rich duck meat with sweet glaze.  Super long finish and medium + mouth coating body.  Very good quality wine that can drink now, but would be great for further ageing.  I will be grabbing a few bottles!

#2 Giusti Wine’s Brut DOCG paired with Rodney’s Oyster House Fresh Shucked West Coast Oyster with Cucumber Mionette Booth #623, #600/602

Tasting Note to come soon!
#3 Chateau De L’Annonciation St. Emilion Grand Cru – Booth #329

Tasting Note: My favourite wine of the evening! A beautiful medium ruby (almost moving into garnet) wine that leaps out of the glass with a medium + nose of Dark Cherry, Leather, Milk Chocolate, Eucalyptus, and earth.  Dry with Medium + Acid on the palate and medium fine but very chalky and stemmy tannins.  The palate offers up more lush cherries, cigar, cedar, leather, medicinal, eycalyptus and earth and a looooooong intense finish.  This is an award winning wine that is very enjoyable now, but I have a hunch will be a showstopper if you can hold into it for another 5-10 to let the tannins intigrate a little more.

Because I am HEAVILY studying France for my WSET 3 and French Wine Professional Designations my focus was placed on French Wine offerings in the short 2hrs that we had to spend at the Festival.

I would love to hear your festival highlights!  Be sure to post some of your top finds in the comments section below!


– Kathryn



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